What to wear/pack... Part 7

Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:46 AM
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Therese, I've been following your thread from day one. It is interesting seeing how your planning came to fruition, plus you have lots of really helpful tips and ideas.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 02:10 AM
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Day 18: BOD to ATL, via CDG

My flight from BOD to CDG was scheduled to leave quite early, at 6:50 AM. So if I made my 1 hour 10 minute connection at CDG I'd be back home in Atlanta by 1:00 PM. At the time that I made the reservation this seemed like a good idea. At 4:15 AM, when my alarm went off, it seemed somewhat less ideal. I'd remembered to charge my Blackberry and headphone battery before going out the previous evening, but stayed out later than I should have. Oh well, there's time to sleep on the plane.

Between 4:15 and 5:15 I breakfasted (yogurt, fruit, whole grain crackers), showered, and packed. In London I'd purchased a jacket and five tops (and the cool little toiletries jar I describe above) and while in Bordeaux had purchased a black skirt (a somewhat exaggerated A-line in a black knit fabric, lined), boots (by Salamander, black knee-high with a low heel, button detail on the side), and quite a few bandes dessinees. These are usually large format but fairly thin hard cover books.

I'd also acquired (through the meeting) a reasonably nice backpack, and I used this as my personal item. I'd definitely be breaking the the Air France 12 kg limit, but since I was ticketed on Delta and flying the TATL leg on Delta equipment was hoping I wouldn't get an argument.

So, into the backpack went my wet toiletries, my dry toiletries, my jewelry, books, headphones, and notes from the meeting. Oh, and my lunch. I think I mentioned somewhere upthread that I don't eat airline food, so I packed a small baguette of whole grain bread, a package of bresaola, small packets of Boursin, two plums, radishes, three Actimel yogurts (which fit into my wet toiletries bag), and a package of chocolate waffle cookies.

Into my carry-on suitcase went everything else, and there was quite a bit of it: two pairs of knee high boots instead of just one (as of course I was wearing the low heel ones I'd brought with me, along with the short-sleeved black knit dress from Target and the jacket I'd purchased in London), the clothes I'd brought with me, the clothes I'd purchased, the pillow...

This sort of packing requires a very positive attitude and considerable strength, as you really need to wedge things into every possible corner. I started with the boots, and packed each of them as tightly as I could with underwear, stockings, electronic gear, shirts, even dresses. Who needs packing cubes when you've got boots? Around them I wedged everything else, finishing off with my pillow and sitting on top of the suitcase to zip it. Because the main zipper on this bag is not on the seams, once the bag is zipped there's not much pressure on it, as the pressure is instead distributed to the seams, which are very sturdy. It all fit, and I weighed it (did I mention that I'd brought a scale with me?). In the neighborhood of 12 kgs.

At 5:20 AM I called down to reception to ask the clerk to call me a cab, saying I would need it in 10 minutes. He called back 20 seconds later to ask me where I was going and I told him. He called back 4 minutes later to say that the cab had arrived. No layabouts, these French cab drivers.

Five minutes later I was downstairs and checked out. Cab ride to BOD pleasant, with nice chat with the driver about the character of the French in general and people in Bordeaux in particular, etc. With tip the fare came to a whopping 45 euro. I'd have taken the JetBus (which was only 7 euro), but it didn't start running until 6:45 AM, much too late for me. Oh well.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 02:12 AM
  #163  
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Ah, another early riser out there. Thanks, sarvowinner.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 02:19 AM
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Day 18, cont: BOD to ATL, via CDG

Check-in at BOD went smoothly. An Air France agent directed me to the main line, but then there turned out to be a large party of people from somewhere in eastern or central Europe travelling together, and they kept cutting in front of me. So I looked around and noticed a desk agent who wasn't doing anything and figured she was probably doing the premium check-in. So I leaned over and asked "Elite Plus?" and she smiled and answered "Oui" and I scampered over to that side. She didn't even look at my bags, and issued boarding passes for both of the flights.

The flight was full, and I later heard that a Lufthansa flight had been cancelled. Lots of Americans on the flight, all disappointed that breakfast service didn't include orange juice (and a bit repulsed to find that hot chocolate was a standard item). I'd had a coffee at the airport while waiting to board, so chose tea on the plane. On time departure, on time arrival.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 02:57 AM
  #165  
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Day 18, cont: BOD to ATL, via CDG

The flight to the U.S. leaves from 2E at CDG, as usual. I've been through this terminal so many times it's started to feel like home. There was a new (to me, anyway) system in place where an agent sorts you into different lines according to the urgency of your flight. She asked where I was headed and I responded "Atlanta."

"Which flight?" she inquired further (as I might well have booked a longer layover).

"The next one, very soon," I answered.

She knew which one it was and directed me to the yellow line. There's also a green line (for those passengers who have hours and hours in which to do nothing other than roam the aisles of duty free) and an orange line (presumable for passengers with very tight connections or delayed incoming flights). Very nice.

Speedy passport control, speedy security, and then to the gate, where there was no wait whatsoever.

I boarded and took my usual emergency exit row seat. I took advantage of the lull in boarding to get myself situated: headphones, eye shades, etc. Because emergency exit row seats have no storage in front of them, my backpack would have to go in the overhead bin for take off.

And that's when I realized that I'd made a mistake. Can anybody figure out what error in packing I'd made that morning?

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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:25 AM
  #166  
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Okay, here's a hint: what single item is most likely to keep me the happiest on a long, daytime (so I'm not sleeping much of the time) TATL flight? Sure, I'll spend some time drowsing, and some time eating, and some time reading, and some time walking up and down the corridor keeping my bladder empty, but what will I mostly be doing on this very nicely equipped Delta flight?
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:38 AM
  #167  
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And no, I won't be joining the mile high club either.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Therese,

If it were me it would most emphatically be a book or 2!

about your scale...how much does it weigh? and is it one of those 'hang your bag on a hook' sorts?

lynda
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:12 AM
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You packed your PILLOW in your checked suitcase!
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:21 AM
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My luggage scale is a very low tech affair, lyndash, that is exactly as you describe, a "hang your bag on a hook" type. It doesn't weigh very much (though it is a bit bulky), so in the end I decided it was worth bringing. I did compare it to results on two different scales at home, and it was reasonably close.

I did have books with me, but experience tells me that I'm going to get tired of reading (so will want to watch movies), and that even if I do read I want to listen to some quiet music or at least just block out the ambient noise (of which there's a great deal on planes).

So I'm going to need my headphones. Look back at my packing job at the hotel in Bordeaux. I definitely mention packing my headphones in my daypack, so what's the problem? And I'll go ahead and say that I did remember to include the cord that runs to the input jack, as well as the volume attenuator.

So what did I forget?
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:23 AM
  #171  
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"You packed your PILLOW in your checked suitcase!"

No such thing, julia_t, as I don't usually check a suitcase and this time was no exception.

So my pillow is easily accessible. Not in my day pack, but the very top item in my carry-on suitcase. I don't usually use my conventional pillow on planes in any case, instead using an inflatable neck pillow.


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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:44 AM
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What a hoot this thread is Therese. We arrived in Italy today - the following is our editor's packing tips for 23 days in Italy during Fall:

It's a challenge to pack for 23 days in Italy in a 24 X 16 carry-on and a tastefuly large handbag, but incredebly liberating. Contents include 2 pair of black pants, a black dress, a body-hunging black skirt, a black cashmere sweater, a black cashmere sweater-wrap, several camisoles, and 1, repeat, 1 pair of comfortable evening shoes, a cashmere scarf, 1 pair earrings for day and a smashing pair for night, and one of your nicer necklaces, and that's it for jewelry.

How to streamline cosmetics. I'll be travelling to 5 different areas. The first day in each city, I have my hair washed and styled, thus eliminating packing any hair products, and I look and feel great. And I bring that which needs to be cleaned to the local lavanderia. By the way, your clothes will never be so pampered.

Hint. If you don't check a bag, you are ready for any flight cancellation - just take your bag and you are first in line at the substitute flight.

My 1 pet peeve: I bring my own airline-size down pillow and mini-size cashmere blanket. I am prepared for any uncomfortable terminal, any plane, any train, or hotel. When I am on vacation, it's all about me feeling good and the elimination of stress.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Oops I misread, I thought you were checking your suitcase of the way home, and taking on board the backpack and purse as your carryon items.

Oh well, I give up! What mistake did you make?

But thank you for this thread, next week I am flying BA to Dubrovnik and planning on NOT checking bags (at least on the way out - coming back I will probably have to after shopping well!) so I have found this most helpful.

BTW, I am a contact lens wearer and have to carry solution as well as spare lenses - do you happen to know from your research if this has to go into my liquid allowance bag or can I carry it separately as a medicine? I haven't been able to track down this information on the BA or TSA websites as strictly speaking it is not a medicine. All I can find is that individual contact lenses in their own little cases can be carried separately in hand luggage. There does not seem to be any mention of the solution needed to clean and wet them with.

So if I have to add the solution to my 1 litre bag of wet stuff I will have to ditch the hairspray, moisturiser or sunblock to fit it in LOL!!!
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM
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<i>Lots of Americans on the flight, all disappointed that breakfast service didn't include orange juice (and a bit repulsed to find that hot chocolate was a standard item).</i>

I LOVE hot chocolate! Wouldn't want to drink it With the oj, but I will certainly take it in place of oj for breakfast!

Very interested to know what item you are missing ...
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:28 PM
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julia_t, your contact lens solutions fall under the exception category as follows:

&quot;All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes&quot;

So they can be packaged separately from your toiletries, but still have to be presented for inspection, and should be very clearly labeled. The volumes can be larger than 100 mL as well (though you'll hardly want to be carrying around large volumes of saline).

As always, you can run into a security person who disagrees with you, and then you may end up purchasing solution at your destination. Fortunately the world's been getting much smaller of late, and this sort of thing is widely available.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Motorino, I think I could just about fit your editor's packing list into my tastefully large handbag and forego the carry-on altogether.

I do often travel with a large wool/silk paisley scarf that doubles as an extra blanket on the plane, but didn't this time.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Okay, so here's my packing error: I packed the headphones and the cord and the attenuator in my day pack, where I could get to them easily, but these are noise-attenuating headphones, so they require a battery. I'd charged the battery the previous evening, but instead of taking it out of the charger and putting it in the headphones, I packed it in my carry-on suitcase, still in the charger. And since I was packed in a very crammed in, not very tidy fashion, getting to it wasn't going to be too easy. I did recall that I'd stuffed it about halfway inside of a boot, and was even pretty sure that it was one of the high-heel boots, but that wasn't really going to make it easy to find, especially once I opened the suitcase and its contents burst forth in a sort of textile volcano.

So there I was considering just how badly I wanted my headphones (badly) and how much I really cared if complete strangers witnessed me stooped over my very untidy suitcase (not very much, but some)when the flight attendant suggested I use the small galley area next to my seat. Another flight attendant (a middle-aged man) stopped to see what I was doing, and I just looked up and said &quot;Don't ask.&quot; I found the battery pretty quickly, and zipped up the suitcase (removing my pillow for once, while made it easier) and re-stowed the carry-on.

The flight was only about half full, so in the end I took another set of two seats and spread out. I got some lovely sleep, and watched several movies. Delta's AVOD is much superior to Air France's older version, with movies on demand (that you could pause and rewind) and a large collection of music CDs.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:03 AM
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Day 18: Home in Atlanta

The Delta flight into Atlanta was due to land at 1:00 PM but was actually about 15 minutes early. A gate was available, and we disembarked and walked to Immigration as usual to find no line up whatsoever. Passengers are usually separated into U.S. and other, but there were so few other that I ended up being sent to one of those desks, where I had a nice long chat before getting my passport stamped. Customs again was just a straight walk through (and of course I hadn't waited for a bag, so was one of the first passengers to arrive). An agent noticed that I was probably carry-on only and directed me to a line that he said would be faster (though it was also the line for wheelchairs, so I'm not sure that's the case). I was the fourth or fifth passenger through, and on my way.

I'd called my husband from the plane to see if he could come pick me up from a MARTA station, but since it was so early in the day he had a conflict. So I took a cab instead.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 09:11 PM
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Here is my packlist page:
http://www.wired2theworld.com/BasicPacklist.html

I leave tomorrow morning. I have to say, I edited it a lot, but I'm sure I could have gone with less.
My rolling bag weighed about 25 lbs full, but still has room inside, plus room to expand if needed.
My other carry on which incudes my purse, camera (DSLR), laptop, accessories, and toiletries weighs more than I care to admit, but I'm not limited to your weight restrictions Therese.

If anyone wants to check out my other trips and this one to Paris just go to &quot;home&quot; on the link above.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Have a great trip Kristina
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